Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is once again posting from the comfort of Port Swiller Manor’s back porch, a nice big cup o’ kahfeh at his side on this gloomy Saturday morning, after getting back yesterday afternoon from his nearly two weeks on the road.

Thank Heaven.

And what was ol’ Robbo doing all that time, you may ask? Why, he was first chairing a bench trial in federal court out west, that’s what.  Last week, we put nearly 900 miles on the rental car roving hither and yon to prep witnesses, and then this week we had the actual trial.  (No news on the results likely for another couple weeks, but we were pretty pleased.)

Ol’ Robbo’s braims don’t yet seem to have come to the realization that it is all finally over and done, as I kept having dreams last night about the next witness we need to call.

In the course of things, Ol’ Robbo managed to pick up a very nasty head cold which quickly got into his ears and  lungs as well.  I spent so much time hacking and gasping this week that the judge himself remarked on it, albeit sympathetically, and the clerk practically buried me in cough drops and kleenex.  (The court reporter told me that this sort of thing happened a lot in their court, apparently as a result of the combination of stress-induced exhaustion and high altitude.)

In a way, the sickies actually helped me out, insofar as yesterday when we flew home, we landed in the middle of a thunderstorm.  All the way down from the point of our initial descent, we  bucked and pitched all over the place.  Under normal circumstances, I would have been in something close to heart-attack mode, but I was just too tired and miserable to give much of a damn anymore, so I calmly kept working on my crossword (or at least staring at it blankly) even as people around me were grabbing on to the seats in front of them to keep from being pitched about too much.  (Although once, after a particularly violent lurch, I did mutter, “Next time, Jack, write a goddam memo!”, much to the bewilderment of the woman sitting next to me.  (Spot the quote.)

Also, the change in pressure coming down caused me to go something close to stone-deaf, giving me a wonderful sense of detachment from the whole biznay.  That’s the key to controlling fear, by the bye.  You can’t be afraid of something that doesn’t engage your attention.

Now here’s something I didn’t know:  Just after we landed, lightning bolts started coming down all around the airport.  As a result, they wouldn’t let us come in to the jetway, but made us loiter around for about 45 minutes on the tarmac.  Apparently, although the plane itself and the main terminal are safe enough, a lightning strike on a jetway is bad biznay for anyone who happens to be in it, so there is a “rule” that they have to wait 10 minutes after the last bolt before letting anyone on.  (That’s what the pilot said.  Nonetheless, just after they opened the hatch and people started filing out, there was a hell of a bang nearby.  We kept exiting nonetheless.  Go figure.)

Aaaaanyhoo, it’s good to be home again.  There’s a country song from the ’90’s called “Just Another Day in Paradise” – I’m too lazy right now to look up the singer – which “gets” the particular “felicity of unbridled domesticity” in all of its manifestations.  And so it is here: When I got home in the middle of said driving thunderstorm, the driveway was flooded and water was getting into the basement again.  Half the first floor lights don’t seem to be working (despite my ardent flipping of circuit-breakers last evening).  Eldest Gel was in her usual sass mode.  Youngest Gel was in her usual too-noisy mode and had chosen that evening to have a friend sleep over.  I had to kybosh Middle Gel’s plan to drive down to King’s Dominion today because the weather threatens to be as bad as yesterday.  The dog was barking at shadows.  The cats were fighting each other for the right to jump into my lap.  Mrs. Robbo, fearing infection, booted me on to a downstairs sofa for the night.

And I smiled.

It’s also lovely (although strange) to have nothing in particular to do, for once.  The only item on Ol’ Robbo’s agenda today is to retrieve La Wrangler from the shop where she’s been having her rear differential rebuilt.  Otherwise, I intend to do nothing but chill.

Oh, and some good news?  Ol’ Robbo’s long-awaited summah hols start this Friday!  (I missed vacay entirely last year due to this same case.)  We’re headed back to Maine, which I haven’t seen in three years, there to have a Robbo Clan Reunion.  Can’t.  Wait.

UPDATE:  Yep,  I’ve definitely put on my “Dad” hat again.

Fixed the lights.  It was the circuit breaker after all, but it was only this morning that I remembered what an electrician had once told me.  The proper way to make sure a tripped circuit really re-engages is to flip it off, wait about five seconds, and then go:  On……Off……ON!

Phil Vasser (or possible Vassar) is the name of the fellah who’s song I reference above.  Rascal Flatts (whom I dislike) also did a song on a similar theme around the same time, as did somebody else who’s completely escaped my memory.  I’ve long had the suspicion that Nashville songwriters keep an eagle eye out for what themes sell and then quickly try to get their own version up in order to get in on the profits.  This has probably been true of artists since the Dawn of Civilisation.

Picked up La Wrangler.  The horrible noise is gone, and she seems steadier on her pins, but it’s going to take a couple days of re-acclimation for me to finally decide if her overall ride is improved, since, as I say, I’ve spent the past two weeks cruising about in a tricked-out, comfort-heavy SUV.

By the way, I mistakenly referred to our rental last week as a GMC Yukon.  It wasn’t.  Instead, it was a Chevy Tahoe.  Very nice drive, but it reminded me of those awful Chevy commercials on the tee-vee these days with that nasty little Beta-boy pretending he’s Mike Rowe or somebody and trying to hang with the Bro’s and talk Truck with them.  Is anyone else put off by that, or is it just me?  (And I say this as a 5’10”, 160 lb., desk-jockey whose work with his hands doesn’t usually go beyond yard maintenance and minor home repairs.  It’s the pretense that bugs me.)